Monday, Dec. 26 | 7 p.m. | UWM Panther Arena
On Dec. 22, center Wade Megan made his NHL debut with the St. Louis Blues. The 26-year- old was recalled from loan by the Blues earlier that day to ll in for Paul Stastny, who was placed on injured reserve. Megan made the most of his time with St. Louis as he scored his first NHL goal. On the rush with Ryan Reaves, Megan chipped a Reaves rebound over Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead at 14:43 of the first period. Megan skated on the wing with Reaves and Scottie Upshall for the majority of the contest. The former Boston University Terriers captain was drafted by the Florida Panthers in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. This season with the Chicago Wolves, Megan has produced a team-leading 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points –- third-best among Wolves skaters –- through 28 games. Megan was returned on loan to Chicago on Dec. 23.
The St. Louis Blues (NHL) reassigned rookie netminder Ville Husso to the Chicago Wolves on Dec. 25. The 21-year-old comes to Chicago from the Missouri Mavericks (ECHL). In 12 games with Mavericks, Husso has a 3-4-1 record with a 3.54 goals-against average and .902 save percentage. The former Liiga Goaltender of the Year appeared in two games earlier this season with the Wolves. He compiled a 1-1-0 record –- including his rst victory in a North American professional league –- as well as a .914 save percentage and 2.53 goals-against average. The move comes on the heels of a one-game suspension for Jordan Binnington. Binnington incurred the suspension during the Wolves’ 6-2 setback against their in-state foe, the Rockford IceHogs, on Dec. 21 — a result of his actions in the final minute of play under AHL Rule 28.1 (supplementary discipline).
Three is Alright, But Four is Too Many
The Chicago Wolves have won 14 of their 30 games so far this season and all of the victories have come in regulation time. The Wolves are the only club in the 30-team American Hockey League yet to win a game in extra time — overtime or shootout. The Wolves have skated in five games with bonus time — three that ended in overtime and two in the shootout. Two of the Wolves’ five extra-time encounters have come against the Milwaukee Admirals. In the squads’ second meeting of the year, on Nov. 4, Milwaukee edged Chicago 3-2 in a shootout at UWM Panther Arena. Five days later, on Nov. 9, the Wolves and Admirals combine for nine goals as Milwaukee skated away with a 5-4 overtime victory. The most recent two contests between the teams –- on Dec. 10 and 22 –- were decided by three- and four-goal margins, respectively. The Wolves came out on top in both those tilts.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 2: In the Chicago Wolves and Milwaukee Admirals’ last meeting on Dec. 22 at Allstate Arena, the Wolves netted two empty-net goals to seal a 8-4 Amtrak Rivalry win against the division-leading Admirals. In an attempt to rally from a 6-4 de cit in the final two minutes of the third period, the Admirals pulled netminder Marek Mazanec. Soon after, Jordan Schmaltz sent a puck down the ice from the defensive end and it slid into the open net for the Wolves’ first empty-net marker. Then at 18:44 of the final frame, the ever-persistent Bryce Gervais outskated a Milwaukee defenseman and potted his second goal of the evening.
- 5: Since being recalled from loan by the St. Louis Blues (NHL) on Dec. 8, defenseman Brad Hunt has skated in six NHL contests with the Blues. The 28-year-old made his Blues debut — and collected an assist — on Dec. 9 in the club’s 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Hunt would skate in the next three games and tally a point — including a goal in the Blues’ 6-3 loss against the Nashville Predators on Dec. 13 — in each. Only in St. Louis’ 3-2 overtime victory versus the Dallas Stars on Dec. 20 and the team’s 5-2 loss on Dec. 22 at Tampa Bay has Hunt been held scoreless. Hunt is carrying an even plus/minus rating and one power-play point, a goal, through six games. Prior to his recall, Hunt was leading the Wolves — and the entire AHL — with 29 points (9G, 20A) through 23 games. He since has been surpassed by teammate Kenny Agostino (9-25–34) for the team and league lead in scoring.
- 27: The last time the Chicago Wolves and Milwaukee Admirals met on Dec. 22 at Allstate Arena, each team tallied 27 minutes in penalties. That number is a season-high for both teams in head-to-head competition. With the exception of two fighting majors —- awarded to Petteri Lindbohm and Jonathan Diaby — and a high-sticking double minor to Brett Sterling, the other 21 were two-minute minor infractions. The penalty-minute totals were a reprieve from both teams’ games on the previous night. In a 6-2 loss to their in-state for, the Rockford IceHogs, the Wolves logged a season-high 46 penalty minutes and combined with Rockford for a season-high 96 minutes in penalties. On the same night, Milwaukee lost 3-0 to the Grand Rapids Griffins in their first shutout loss of the season and took 50 minutes worth of penalties. That total included two 10-minute and a game misconduct.
9: With nine goals and 25 assists for 34 points, left wing Kenny Agostino is atop the American Hockey League scoring leaderboard. The 24-year-old handed out three assists in the Wolves’ 8-4 Amtrak Rivalry victory over the Milwaukee Admirals on Dec. 22 at Allstate Arena. The win snapped a four-game winless skid for the Wolves and was the third consecutive game in which Agostino tallied points. The former Yale University Bulldog is on a three-game point streak and averaging two points per game. Through 30 games, Agostino has only been held scoreless in nine contests. He also has eight multi-point performances, including a four-assist tilt in the Wolves’ 6-5 overtime setback against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Dec. 7 at Van Andel Arena. The Morristown, New Jersey, native was just the third AHL player this season to accomplish the feat and the first Wolves player since Jason Krog on April 12, 2008.
- 79: Happy birthday, Gene Ubriaco! The Chicago Wolves director of hockey operations turns 79 Monday. Ubriaco has been involved with the Wolves organization for 20 seasons as director of hockey operations and eight as senior advisor. He served as Chicago’s inaugural head coach, and he guided the team to a 34-33-14 record and a berth in the 1995 Turner Cup playoffs. In his three-year span — that included a two-game interim stint during the 1996-97 season — as bench boss, Ubriaco compiled a 61-61-20 record. Ubie, as he’s known to many, has been involved with hockey for nearly 50 years; he began coaching at Lake Superior State University in 1972 and has coached at both the collegiate and professional levels. His playing career also includes 10 years in both the AHL and NHL. These days, he dedicates himself to numerous charitable causes, including the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association with which he has been involved since 1974.
- Chicago’s offense exploded for eights goal to sink the Admirals.
- Centers Ivan Barbashev and Bryce Gervais each collected two goals while wing Kenny Agostino dished three assists.
- Goaltender Pheonix Copley turned aside 30 shots in the victory.
- The Wolves dropped their second consecutive game against Rockford.
- Rookie defenseman Vince Dunn and center Wade Megan each tallied for Chicago.
- The IceHogs registered four goals in a 1-minute, 49-second span to take a 4-1 lead in the second period.
- Goaltender Jordan Binnington relieved starting netminder Pheonix Copley at 10:46 of the second frame; Binnington gave up goals on the first two shots he faced and earned the loss.
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